Between its exclusive release on last-gen consoles in 2014 (a full year after the release of the Xbox One) and the fact it came out alongside Assassin's Creed Unity, a game with significantly more marketing, Assassin's Creed Rogue is a title that many gamers didn't even know existed. Despite an excellent story and solid mechanics, Rogue ultimately wasn't as successful as it could have been.
The remastered edition that recently released for Xbox One gives the game another opportunity to shine. While the graphics sadly aren't anything to rave about, the qualities that made the original great are still here, and thus the game is as good now as it was then.
Story: From Assassin to Templar
Assassin's Creed follows the story of Shay, an Assassin in New York during the events of the French and Indian War. Forced to betray his own brotherhood in order to prevent further catastrophe from happening, Shay ultimately is left with no choice but to turn his back on the Assassins. He then finds himself in the company of the Templars, the sworn enemy of his previous order, and unlike other games in the series, we get to see this conflict from the other side of things.
What makes Rogue's story so great is that the struggle between the Assassin and Templar orders are seen in a much more gray light. Previously, Assassins were the undisputed "good guys" and the Templars were the "bad guys". Not anymore; though Rogue won't convince you that the Templars are who you should root for, it will show you the issues that the Assassins are plagued with, such as corruption and hypocrisy.
Gameplay: A reminder of the roots
As it first came out before Assassin's Creed Origins, the title that revamped the series' formula, Rogue is built on classic Assassin's Creed principles: stealth, parkour movement, collectible-hunting, and (as a last result) direct combat. Thus, the gameplay isn't fresh, but that doesn't mean it's dated, either. The original structure of the gameplay in these games works well, and if you don't mind going back to the franchise's roots you'll love Rogue's style.
In addition, there's also more of the infamous naval combat that Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was universally praised for. Again, there's little in the name of new features here, but what's there is tried and true. If you're looking to sail the open seas, then Rogue has plenty of opportunities just for you.
Presentation and performance: Good, not great
Seeing as it's a remastered game, I was excited to see how good Ubisoft ended up making Rogue look on the Xbox One. Unfortunately, the excitement was let down by the fact that Rogue only looks slightly better than the original Xbox 360 version. Considering the recent Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection was also underwhelming, I should have seen it coming. Regardless, it's still disappointing to see. It's less a remaster and more of a simple port.
On a more positive note, though, the remaster runs excellent on the Xbox One. There's not a single issue I experienced in my time playing, and this is a massive improvement over the first release, which often struggled to maintain stable framerates on the Xbox 360.
Assassin's Creed Rogue Remastered conclusion
Though it fails to satisfyingly remaster the game's visuals, Assassin's Creed Rogue Remastered nevertheless brings the original game to the Xbox One with perfect performance and every feature that made it great in the first place.
- Excellent story.
- Solid gameplay.
- Amazing performance.
- Disappointing graphics for a "remaster."
Assassin's Creed Rogue Remastered is available on Xbox One for $29.99.
This review was conducted on an Xbox One, using a copy provided by the publisher.
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